Flight Blog

Feb 10 2011 Fares on the March! BY sgf-adminTAGS Fares

 

wingsdollars1There have been so many fare hikes lately that we've stopped mentioning them. This one really gets your attention though...

 

 "United and Continental airlines are raising fares on U.S. business travelers by $20 to $60 for a round-trip ticket." Read the rest of the story from the Houston Chronicle.


Feb 08 2011 Joplin Essential Air Service BY sgf-adminTAGS Fares

 

We received this email from Chad:

"I just stumbled across an article stating that American Airlines will now offer daily flights to DFW from Joplin.  I travel weekly for business and just booked 3 flights departing SGF yesterday.  My trip to Portland on American totaled about $900 after taxes and fees, however, I checked the same flight dates from Joplin and the fare totaled about $350.  How does the airport plan to compete with this new Joplin service?"

The American service out of Joplin is new (starts this week) and it’s Essential Air Service (EAS). EAS is a federal program that pays airlines to fly into markets that otherwise would not have air service. In other words, the service is subsidized by the federal government—it gives American a revenue guarantee. That’s one reason the fares out of Joplin are lower than Springfield.

Also…It’s our understanding that the previous EAS airline in Joplin did a good job of running off customers. American finds itself in the position of having to rebuild the service from the ground up. We suspect American’s low inaugural fares are part of its attempt to rebuild. Bottom line: we expect the fares to go up after a financial quarter or two.

EAS is something of a political hot potato these days. This week Senator John McCain proposed a bill that would eliminate the program. Here's part of what the Juneau Empire reports:

"Although this program is called the Essential Air Service, in my view it’s far from essential,” he said. He said the program’s expendability stems from that most Americans live within 120 miles to major hub airports and so bypass EAS flights. He said the program originated because airline deregulations inspired Congress to subsidize carriers to service small communities “at a loss because otherwise no sane business would serve a market at a loss."

By the way, our airport does not qualify for EAS funding — we're too big and the airlines can make money here without subsidies.

 


Feb 03 2011 Delta Charm School BY sgf-adminTAGS Customer Service, Delta

 

..."after a particularly bad year last year in customer service, Delta Air Lines is sending 11,000 agents back to school. Every ticket counter, gate and baggage agent and supervisor is going through renewed training in hopes of rejuvenating Delta's customer service after its merger with Northwest Airlines and a summer of canceled flights left customers stranded."

Read the rest of the story from the Wall Street Journal.

 


 

Allegiant Air "closed out 2010 with its 32nd straight profitable quarter and an 18.9 percent increase in revenue for the year, but a 13.9 percent decline in earnings over 2009."

That's according to the Las Vegas Sun. Reporting on the airline's recent conference call with investors, the paper notes that Allegiant plans to " add seats on every plane in its fleet of 51 MD-80 jets." The paper doesn't say so, but we've heard on the grapevine that the airline will add 15 seats to each plane.

Of course, what Allegiant fans really want to know about is the future Hawaii service. On this, the airline is still vague: "The airline announced last year that it would fly to Hawaii from the West Coast with the planes [newly acquired 757s], but hasn’t given any details about what cities would be served.

 


Jan 27 2011 Frequent Flyer Tips BY sgf-adminTAGS Fares

 

Are you, or do you aspire to be a frequent flyer? Reuters offers some tips on maximizing your miles. It's "a myth-busting guide to maximizing your points without digging deep into your pocket."